The United States players have a lot to gain from this summer’s Gold Cup, as Bruce Arena has left a wealth of star players home for the group stage and beyond.
Many of Arena’s Europe-based stars won’t hit the pitch for the Yanks in the tournament, and mainstays like Michael Bradley, Tim Howard, and Clint Dempsey made the 40-man pool but not the 23-men called up for the group stage (Arena can make changes between the group stage and the knockout rounds).
We’ve shown how many lineup questions are unanswered for the group stage, but how will Arena line ’em up for Saturday’s friendly against Ghana in East Hartford? With Panama, Martinique, and Nicaragua in its group, Saturday’s test is tougher than anything the Yanks will face in the following week.
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Here are some ways Arena could go against Ghana.
Let ’em play XI — If Arena wants to throw caution to the wind, he can use a batch of players who have rarely if ever repped their country, and see who shines:
Lichaj — Miazga — Hedges — Morrow
Rowe — Roldan — McCarty — Saief
Agudelo — Dwyer
Healthy mix — Arena only included a few players with a number of caps, and he could use them as a safety net for the “unknowns”:
Zusi — Hedges — Gonzalez — Villafana
McCarty — Acosta
Arriola — Agudelo — Bedoya
Writer’s choice — Here’s a personal XI from this lowly writer:
Lichaj — Hedges — Miazga — Morrow
McCarty — Roldan — Acosta
Arriola — Morris — Saief